Kevin Willett says the hugging culture is nice, but in business there is a time and place for it.
I tend to hug everyone I meet, and I have learned it is not a great idea. There are people who simply do not want to be hugged. It is a horrible feeling when you hug someone, and you feel their whole body get tight and you know they are saying ‘why is this guy hugging me’. Please be cautious of this because it may be costing you business.
I read an article recently that suggested that you let the lady take the lead when it comes to hugging. I am not sure I agree with that, because I have a lot of male friends that really don’t like being hugged, by a male or female.
If you are not sure if you should hug someone or not, then the answer is you shouldn’t. I ended up in a weird situation recently. I had a woman asked me why I did not hug her. She noticed I hugged two other women in her industry, so her conclusion was that I liked them better than her. I must admit that floored me. I did not realize the message I was sending her.
Hugging people in a business setting can be very confusing. It is much easier to simply shake hands to make sure that you are not sending the wrong message.
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Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon
Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events
Interesting piece – Thank you sharing your experience and thoughts on this … Hugging can be uncomfortable for some — I would dare say that a handshake combined with a friendly demeanor and some deep listening would be a great gift of presence.